1969 DODGE CHARGER HELLCAT
After months of blood, sweat, and maybe a few tears, the 1969 Dodge Charger Hellcat is FINALLY finished! This build was definitely one of the more challenging projects we've taken on, but our team dug deep and finished out this one-of-a-kind project!
Let's take a look back at the beginning when the car first arrived at the shop.
We had the pleasure of building this ride for a special client that told us it was his "dream car". We happily agreed to make his dream a reality. Little did we know that what we were trying to do had never been done before. The only other Hellcat swaps out there either placed a '69 body onto a brand new hellcat frame or they did the motor swap but not the complete dash.
We did what we like to call a true Hellcat swap. What does a true Hellcat swap mean? It means that we took a complete Hellcat motor and transmission assembly along with the SRT dash and steering wheel complete with paddle shift controls and placed it inside of a 1969 Dodge Charger. Not only is everything in the car, but it's functional! From the remote start, 8.4" touch screen, ice cold air conditioning, and automatic transmission with paddle shift controls, this car has all the comforts of a modern day Hellcat but looks like an old school hot rod!
Getting the electronics wired up and functional in this car was no easy feat. Back in 1969, they obviously didn't have key fobs, paddle shifters, or touch screens so we knew that it would be a challenge. We called around to see if there were any wiring harnesses made for this purpose and what we were told was, "Nope and good luck!".
The first thing we had to do before painting the engine bay and the underside was to get the motor in the car, figure out how to wire it all, and of course make sure everything worked. If it didn't, then paint would be the last of our concerns. We also didn't want to risk damaging the paint while figuring out how to wire the motor, dash, etc.
The guys started by laying out the Hellcat wiring harness and labeling each and every wire. We're talking about 12 miles of wire here. (No, the harness didn't stretch that long that's just what we estimated to be the total amount of wire.) Pretty soon we had a fully-functioning 1969 Hellcat.
And then we took it all apart.
Since the hard part had been figured out, it was time to make it all look good. We went with body-color paint for the engine bay and undercoat. This tied everything together nicely and gave the build a finished look.
Once paint was completed it was time to put all the guts back in the car. By this point, the guys had already done it once before so they already knew where and how everything fit together.
The team took this build a step further and put in a Ford 9" rear end, Wilwood brakes and coil overs. There's no doubt that this '69 Charger Hellcat will be able to handle whatever it's owner throws at it!
If you look closely, you'll see a few pieces that we had to fabricate entirely to make this build what it is. For example, the radiator for the Hellcat engine hung down past the bottom of the bumper. So we had to come up with something that fit the old school look while keeping the radiator hidden.
The customer wanted to keep the old school look and feel of the car so we went with the 18" Vintage 515's from American Racing. The wheels complete the car and achieve the exact feel we were going for.
We're pretty proud of this build and are thrilled to finally see it come to life. There were times that we thought we bit off more than we could chew, but the team we have here is unstoppable. Say hello to one of the first true Hellcat swaps!
1969 HELLCAT SWAP BUILD SPECS
Full and Complete 1969 Charger body and chassis
2015 Supercharged 6.2L Hellcat Engine
Wilwood 6 Piston Forged Calipers (Front)
Wilwood 4 Piston Forged Calipers (Rear)
Drilled & Slotted Rotors
Magnum Force Racing Cradle, Front and Rear Suspension
Moser Fab 9” Rear End
American Racing Wheels (18x10 Rear and 18x9 Front)
Custom Fabricated Grill to Allow for more Airflow